Scientists Solve The Mystery Of The "Sailing Stones" At Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park has long been the site of a mystery that has intrigued visitors and baffled scientists—the "sailing stones" of Racetrack Playa. The playa is a dry lake, and its surface is marked by a web of "trails" left in the soil by the unexplained movement of hundreds of rocks. Now a team of researchers has solved the puzzle...and the answer involves a very unlikely process in the hottest place in America.

Death Valley May Be On Lookout For Steve Fosset

Steve Fossett; Mary Frances Howard photographer.
Leads from the Air Force suggest that Fossett may have been traveling in the direction of Death Valley National Park when his plane was lost. It is an area of rough terrain near the park's northern boundary. Searchers in planes and on foot will canvas the area this weekend.

Death Valley Looking to Electronic Rangers to Raise Money, Lure Younger Generations

Did you hear about the "electronic rangers" you can now rent in Death Valley National Park? For $15 a day these gadgets, which you place on your rig's dashboard, will give you a guided tour of the park. Park officials hope these devices, among other things, will generate a new revenue stream for Death Valley.

The Essential Death Valley

Sand dunes in Death Valley; Kurt Repanshek photo.
Towering sand dunes that ripple across the heart of a 3.4-million-acre landscape, hidden canyons that echo with splashing, gurgling water that nourishes a surprising cache of lush vegetation, a human history of anguish as well as prosperity. The surreal landscape of Death Valley can be deadly hot in summer, and yet it is one of the more intriguing units of the national park system because of its stark beauty and demanding nature.

Mining, Nuclear Power, and Parks in the Balance

Ratcliffe Power Plant, Nottinghamshire U.K.; Alan Zomerfeld Photographer
As worldwide demand for clean nuclear power increases, mining claims for uranium and other material have boomed in the western United States. Many of these claims are being staked very close to the sensitive areas just outside of national parks, places like the Grand Canyon, Death Valley and Arches. This has led to a plea for updated mining laws, which in present condition have remained nearly unchanged since 1872.

Judge Tosses Surprise Canyon Lawsuit

Surprise Canyon
A federal judge has tossed out a lawsuit aimed at turning a unique canyon on the western edge of Death Valley National Park into a road for four-wheelers. Judge Lawrence O'Neill ruled that the parties that brought the lawsuit had no standing on the issue.
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Judge Allows Groups to Intervene In Death Valley Case

Areas in which Inyo County wants to build highways. Earth Justice Graphic.
At issue is whether Inyo County, California, should be allowed to bulldoze roads in a portion of Death Valley that is designated wilderness. In agreeing to let the conservation groups intervene in the matter on behalf of the National Park Service, Judge Anthony Ishii wrote that the groups have a "significant protectable interest" in how the legal battle plays out.